This year’s World Cup in Brazil is about a week away and the BBC have been showing all the official films of each World Cup since the start. The latest one is Goal!, the official documentary of the 1966 World Cup.
It’s a remarkable document of a time that seems so long ago but is only 48 years ago. From the opening scenes of the teams landing at the old London Airport and being welcomed to a sign saying ‘Rothmans welcomes you to London‘, to the end scene of a grumpy old man kicking tin cans down the steps of an empty Wembley after the final between England and West Germany, it’s really a fascinating film.
For those younger football fans brought up with pristine pitches and silky talents it’s a serious education as some of the greatest players ever play on pitches you’d not pitch on if it was at Glastonbury.It’s also shocking to see a great like Pele kicked to fuckity by every team he came up against and still play, because back then there were no substitutes. You got injured then your team went down to 10 men or you hobbled around trying to do something useful. In some games it really was a war of attrition as players went down all over the place under the sort of tackle which would be a straight red card these days.
Thankfully there’s a copy of the film on Youtube, so take the time out to watch what the 1966 World Cup documentary has to say about a time just before the Swinging Sixties kicked into full gear…